The only sure bet to Nigeria coming off its present economic quagmire is for the federal Government and state governments to focus on diversifying the economy through laying emphasis on agriculture.
This was the major resolution of the National Economic Council meeting which held on Thursday at the state House Abuja.
The meeting made up of governors from the states and the Central Bank, with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, presiding discussed specific steps and actions to be taken towards achieving the stated goal in the nearest possible time, though no specific time was arrived at.
Welcoming the newly adopted “Green Alternative,” as just endorsed yesterday by the Federal Executive Council, the Council agreed that there is no alternative from all emphasis being laid on agriculture by all government circles if the country would survive the economy woes in good time.
In a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity to the Vice President, the Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh, presented the plan to NEC, and received enthusiastic responses from the state governors.
Some of the highlights of the NEC meeting included:
update on separate funding stream for Joint Ventures Cash Calls (JVC) during which Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr, Ibe Kachukwu, briefed the Council that the current upstream JVC arrangement in oil and gas industry had been incorporated with NNPC and the IOC partners
• Some benefits of the self-funded, IJVC are aimed at having improved accountability within the governing structure of the JVCs
Also, Minister of Budget and National Planning made a presentation on medium term fiscal framework ( MTFF 2017 – 2019) to the Council·
On the need for all governments and citizens to seriously embark on renewed vigour at economic diversification, with emphasis on agriculture, the Minister of Agriculture told NEC that the Federal Government is already pursuing self-sufficiency policy in food production and with all seriousness.
Another important issue was deliberated on was that of the CBN telling the Council that all bank customers that operate domiciliary accounts are now permitted to lodge dollar-cash into their non-export accounts, subject to the provisions of the money laundering Act.
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